My back hit a wall and I found myself under a sink, blinking rapidly as my eyes adjusted to the light. Not six feet from me, I saw a short, fat Hispanic man in an expensive-looking suit stop in front of the lone stall, gun in hand. His breath came heavy and he muttered to himself as he dug in his pockets for something.
He opened the stall and I caught a glimpse of Jess for the first time—only a flash, but I saw dried blood and her jaw was swollen. She shrieked as he reached for her, and then I heard the clatter of what had to be him fighting to open the handcuffs. Jess kicked out and the key dropped, skittering across the floor to the far corner of the room.
“Leave me alone!” she yelled.
“Shut your mouth, cunt!” the man yelled back. Then he slapped her. Hard.
She shut up.
Outside the gunfire died off, but a new noise had started up. A shrill wailing that could only be a fire alarm.
Holy fuck. I had to end this somehow or we were both going to die like rats.
The bastard lowered himself heavily to his knees, muttering curses under his breath as he hunted for the key. His motions were desperate, and I realized I wasn’t the only terrified one in here. Good. Nice to know the bad guys got scared, too. Maybe I could use that against him.
Jessica’s frantic eyes met mine over his back. Her face was bloodied and bruised, and she’d obviously lost some weight. More than she could afford. To make things even more wretched, her hands were fastened behind her, and they’d left her on the toilet with her pants around her ankles.
Shouts sounded outside, and a loud crashing noise. Like a body thrown against the wall?
The man muttered under his breath, his movements growing more frantic. I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t just run away—was he cornered in here? If that was the case, he needed Jess alive. A hostage was his best shot to get out, although whether the club would let him go to save Jess was very much in question …
He spotted the key under one of the urinals and backed out of the stall, scuttling across the floor toward it like an exceptionally large cockroach.
I smelled smoke. More shouting outside.
Floor Man ignored it all, absolutely determined to get that key and unlock Jessica. I had no idea who he was and I didn’t care. He had the key, which meant he was responsible for her being here and that was good enough for me.
Time to end this and get the hell out of here before we died.
I rose silently to my knees and aimed the gun, just like Disturbing Field Guy had taught me. Then I took a deep breath and pulled the trigger, the explosion shattering so loud in the tiny room that my ears started ringing. Jess screamed again as the bullet caught him in the side, knocking him back against the wall. His eyes found mine and widened in surprise. Then his hand started fumbling for something that’d crashed heavily to the tile next to him.
I shot him again, this time in the chest. Another shot, catching his arm. I started knee-walking across the floor, determined to grab that key and get Jessica out. God. He was still alive. His eyes blinked, and he held up a hand, as if he could stop me by sheer force of will. His mouth moved but I couldn’t make out the words through the ringing. Smoke started curling through the air above me, filtering through the air vent. We really, really needed to get out of here.
Time to end this asshole.
Holding my gun with both hands, I shot him point-blank in the center of his forehead. Blood and brain spattered everything in the room, including me. I gagged, trying not to throw up. I didn’t slow down, though. I couldn’t afford to, not with smoke pouring into the room, half an army waiting to kill us, and Jessica chained to a fucking toilet with her pants on the floor.
Time to find that key. Too bad it was wedged somewhere under Fatty McDeadfuck.
His body was heavy and limp, but I managed to roll it toward me long enough to dig through the gore and find the little key that’d cost him his life. Then I was on my feet and unlocking Jessica. She was just standing up when the door burst open again.
I raised the gun, ready to shoot.
His eyes widened, taking in everything. My blood-spattered face, Jessica peeking out of the stall … Fatty McDeadfuck’s spattered brains.
“Holy shit,” he muttered. Huh. Guess my hearing was working again. Yup. More gunfire in the background, along with even louder wailing from the alarm, now that the door was open.
“Hi, Reese,” I said, smiling just a tad too brightly. “I found Jessica.”
Ruger came in behind him, followed by Horse and some bearded stranger I didn’t recognize. Suddenly the bathroom was way too crowded.
“That’s Gerardo Medina,” Beard Man said. “He’s dead … Holy hell. Who shot him?”
“I did,” I snapped, waving my gun for emphasis. They all froze, and I realized waving deadly weapons for emphasis while covered with blood and brain chunks probably wasn’t such a hot idea. This struck me as funny, but I managed not to laugh.
That’s when I realized perhaps I was losing my shit a little.
Reese let out a slow breath.
“Okay, give me the gun, babe,” he said, reaching out for it. I hesitated—what if I needed to defend Jessica again? My thoughts were racing way too fast, I couldn’t think. Reese considered me warily.
“I’m impressed as hell, London. You just killed the number two guy for the Santiago Cartel in the U.S., so job well done. But much as I respect your deadly instincts, I think we’ll all be safer if you hand that gun over.”
“I’m fine keeping it,” I said, narrowing my eyes to focus on his face. Damn. Why was everything moving so fast?
“Tell me right now how much ammunition you have left.”
“Because if you can’t answer the question, you got no business carrying that thing around.”
He made a good point.
I handed over the gun with the barrel pointed down carefully, startled by how hard it was to keep my balance. Then he was lifting me up and throwing me over his shoulder in a firefighter’s carry. He raced out the bathroom door, smoke surrounding us and the roar of guns growing louder. Something whacked my shoulder and my arm went numb.
“Loni!” Jess screamed behind me, and I raised my head to see Horse carrying her, dangling pants and all. Then I heard someone yell “Fuck!” really loud, followed by “Get the hell outta here!”
Reese pelted toward the end of the warehouse as the whole place seemed to burst into flames. Smoke burned my eyes, and I had no idea how he was getting enough air—I certainly wasn’t. Still, we barreled down the row of pallets like a herd of wild horses until I saw Puck waiting by the door we’d used to enter, waving at us frantically.